Adventures in the Jungle of your Brain
So our classes begin again this Thursday the 1st of February at 9.30am.
We'll be exploring the head and neck in this series. How, in the world of reactions, perception leads and the body follows. Of course a great deal of our perception comes through the special organs of sense in our head. It's an interesting thing to consider - how your head, or indeed you, are oriented to the world. Does your head face forward or is it turned away to the side? Are your eyes and ears squinted or are you open to whatever you experience?
You may be a person who experiences problems on one side of your body. Could this have something to do with the way your head sits on top of your spine?
Of course there is something else about our heads that most of us, and certainly never boxers, consider very much. The contents!
We have the most complicated structure in the known universe floating in our skull. The skull itself is into two main sections. The central nervous system lies within the neurocranium and spine. The visceral system is connected to the viscerocranium and pelvis. Look at that amazing skull!
All those bones you can see pulse with the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid that cushions the central nervous system within the skull and spine. Their balance affects the whole body.
Now the thing is, the centre of gravity of the skull is in front of the point of support which means it's always falling forward. So head balance is actually a continuous forward and then upward movement of the skull on the spine, relative to gravity and the rest of the body.
We lengthen away from gravity's pull to the centre of the earth and the steering wheel for this upward movement is located in the inner ears directly above where the skull sits on top of the spine.
If your head sits freely there everything you do will be light and easy and you'll naturally assume beautiful upright posture.
It was FM Alexander's contention that the quality of your head balance relative to your neck and the rest of your body affects the quality of the way you function. Small changes in that balance can have a significant impact on the way you feel. He called that balance, 'Primary Control' and it's one of the cornerstones of the Alexander Technique.
So we'll be exploring this balance using the Feldenkrais Method this term. It seems like a simple thing, keeping yourself upright with your head delicately balanced on top. However, the experience is much more nuanced. It may have something to do with everything else that is going on.
I remember one of my acting teachers saying to me, 'If I could just chop off your head, everything would be ok.' How apt it seemed at the time. The problem is we have so little control over what we think and do because so much of it is unconscious. Our brain is as spectacular and mysterious as the universe itself.
To get things in perspective. The brain contains about 100 billion neurons and each one can connect to at least 10,000 other neurons via the 125 trillion synapses we each contain. The potential number of brain states is astronomical. As well as that the spine has about 100 million neurons and the gut contains roughly 500 million neurons.
So we think with the whole body.
Do we think or do our thoughts think us? We are awash with the unconscious reactions to our sensations, thoughts and feelings. The functioning of our bodily systems and the sorting of experience take place in a personal universe as vast as a dream.
You can only change that of which you are unconscious, indirectly. The best we can do is to gaze in wonder at the container and tinker away at it's bells ands whistles.
Polishing your duco, performing wheel alignments, tuning your engine and tightening up your steering can have a beautiful side effect.
The chance to hear the distant note of that exquisite undiscovered bird. The chance to discover that secret valley where time and perspective have transformed dead leaves to reveal the fertility of your soil.
So we'll tune in to the shape of the underside of your skull and it's dual tenants. We'll tune into the shape of your ribcage and listen to sound of your breath. We'll hear the song of your feet and the spring that curves through your remarkable body. Did I mention the senses?
We'll tune in once again .. and wonder ..
See you on Thursday!
0404 625 326